Mike was born and raised in Oak Park, Illinois and Muskegon, Michigan. He graduated from Michigan State University in 1990 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice. He began his Federal career while still in college; however, upon graduation, he was selected as a Criminal Investigator with the United States Customs Service in Houston, Texas with the U.S. Customs Aviation Branch. He served as an interdiction agent conducting narcotics investigations and operations in Texas and Central and South America. In 1994, he was promoted to a Special Agent position conducting full range criminal investigations. In 1997, he transferred to Alexandria Bay, New York to open a new office, and resided in Manlius, New York. In 2002, he was promoted to a Supervisory Special Agent position and later that year was transferred to Washington, DC to assist in the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security. In DC, he was assigned as a Program Manager responsible for the oversight of the Smuggling Division and served as the Northern Border coordinator. During his Customs Career, he was the recipient of numerous awards: The Special Agent of the Year, 2 Commissioner’s Citations, Bravery Award, Medal of Valor, Numerous Letters of Appreciation from the Treasury Secretary for major Customs narcotics and money seizures. Additionally, he was lauded for his professionalism and dedication to duty following the death of 4 ATF agents in Waco, Texas.
In 2003, Mike transferred to the Department of Defense Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) as the Program Director for National Security. As the Program Director, he provided agency wide oversight of national security investigations, represented the agency with the National Joint Terrorism Task Force, and additionally served on a one-year assignment as the DoD Liaison to the 911 Commission. In 2005, he transferred back to his adoptive home of Syracuse, New York and resides in Manlius, New York. He served as both field agent and supervisory agent with DCIS in the field. During his career with DCIS, he received 11 Sustained Performance Awards, and was a Member of the DoD Million Dollar Club for his investigative performance. Mike retired from DCIS in 2016 after 27 years of Federal Law Enforcement experience.
In 1999, he was commissioned as an Ensign with the U.S. Navy Reserve, Intelligence Program. He has served as an intelligence officer for the Defense Intelligence Agency 0705, Chief of Naval Operations Intelligence 0166, Office of Naval Intelligence 0682, and the Defense Intelligence Agency 0797. In 2009, he attended the Naval War College earning a Command and Staff diploma. He has served in numerous active and reserve assignments throughout the world to include deployments to Iraq and Korea. Mike has held several leadership positions which have included tours as the Deputy Director of Intelligence in Baghdad, Iraq, Executive Officer of the Office of Naval Intelligence and Executive Officer of the Defense Intelligence Agency. The Navy has leveraged his leadership on four other active duty tours as an Operations Officer of a major intelligence center, a Senior Intelligence Analyst on 2 separate occasions engaged in Counter Threat Finance Analysis of enemy operations, and led a joint military team to curb the threat of Improvised Explosive Devices in the Afghanistan Theater. Mike has 19 years of service and will be eligible for promotion to Captain (O6) in January 2019.
In his military career he was the recipient of 2 Meritorious Service Medals, 2 Joint Commendation Medals, Navy & Marine Corps Commendation medal, 2 Joint Service Achievement Medals, 2 Navy & Marine Achievement Medals, and an Army Achievement Medal, and various unit/campaign awards. Mike Montes is married to Catherine Montes of Denison, Texas, and they are proud to call Central New York their adoptive permanent home. They reside in Manlius, New York with their two children.
Disclaimer: Neither the military information nor photographs imply endorsement by the Department of Defense or the U.S. Navy.